Dein expects 'big things' from Afcon Eagles
Former Arsenal vice-chairman, David Dein is expecting Nigeria's Super Eagles to do well at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
Dein is hoping that the Nigerian men's national team will emulate their beach soccer counterparts, the Supersand Eagles, who successfully defended their Copa Lagos Beach Soccer Worldwide title this month.
"Football is a big sport in Nigeria. The Nigerian team has done well in beach soccer, a growing sport. It's amazing that the Beach Soccer Worldwide organises at least two tournaments monthly across the world and Copa Lagos is one of them," said the President of the G-14 group of European football clubs.
"As for the Nigerian men's national team I hope they do well at the Nations Cup in South Africa like their beach soccer team did at Copa Lagos. This is country where big footballing talent like (Nwankwo) Kanu emerged from."
The former vice-chairman of the Football Association also said Nigeria have a huge resource base of talented footballers to always draw from but need "the right coaches proper structure and plan" to develop.
Dein believes that Africa and South America will produce huge numbers of footballing talents in ten years.
"There is always a lot of footballing talent coming out of Nigeria. In ten years, there will be a heavy flow of talent from Africa and also South America. Nigeria is a fertile ground for football but the country will need to have the right coaches and proper structure and plan to help groom the talent," said Dein, who was in Nigeria to witness the second edition of Copa Lagos this month.
Nigeria's Super Eagles are in Group C of the Afcon with defending champions, Zambia, Burkina Faso and Ethiopia.
The 2013 Afcon will hold in South Africa between January 19 and February 10.